The importance of the London Film Festival through the power of maths




It might not quite be ten days that shook the work, but the London Film Festival encompasses ten days that shape the world of cinema and here are some solid figures to prove it:

Average attendances to the LFF have been on the rise for years. Last year, 133,000 people turned up, a rise of 18,000 on just three years before and with more films on show this time around, the chances are that trend will continue on its upward path.

Despite the LFF's sometimes minority, arty-farty image, those 133,000 people are a hefty proportion of all cinema goers for the ten days of the festival.

In 2011, there were about 40 million attendances at cinemas in London, which works out at about 110,000 a day, or 1,100,000 over a ten day period. So, the LFF brings in about one in every eight of all London cinema goers. Take out little kids and snogging teenagers and that probably rises to half of those who actually watch what's on the screen.

No wonder big hitting movies like Frankenweenie and Crossfire Hurricane are getting in on the act by having their premieres as part of the festival.

Still, it's something of a surprise that the mighty world of football should bow down and scrap much of its league programme during the LFF. The current break in the top two divisions for international games means that the LFF is bound to beat the national sport as the highest attended event over the next ten days, unless AFC Wimbledon and Barnet pull in unexpectedly high crowds*.

* Quick plug here for Non-League Day, which encourages foot loose fans of the big teams to turn up at their local club on Saturday.